WILMA TOWNSHIP BOARD OF APPEAL AND EQUALIZATION, APRIL 6, 2015
Chairman Glen Williamson called the meeting to order at 1 pm at the Wilma Town Hall with the Pledge of Allegiance. County Assessor Kelly Schroeder and Wilma Assessor Bob Brewster attended, plus Supervisors Mike McCullen and Gary Vink and Clerk Paul Raymond, plus Pat and Helena Story.
Kelly said that Wilma had no sales in the period from Oct. 2013 through September, 2014, so property values had to be determined by sales in Arna and New Dosey, which had a .38% increase in values determined by new sales, and a ½ of 1% increase in parcels over 34 acres.
Kelly said the statute states that valuation notices for 2016 have to be mailed ten days before the Board of Appeal, and since there were only seven days today’s meeting can’t be adjourned but must be continued after voters have another opportunity to appeal their taxes in Sandstone April 14 or at the Courthouse April 15. Then the board can meet again to continue the meeting or have a conference call with all the Supervisors and Clerk and Assessors after these appeals. Mike moved that the Board meet by conference call on Wednesday, April 22, at noon. Gary seconded.
Pat and Helena Story, Parcel 32.5084.000: Pat said he didn’t understand why his property taxes have increased so much since he moved here permanently. He wanted to know how the tax values are determined, and what he is getting for his taxes. He doesn’t feel he is getting the services he pays for, e.g. the very inadequate warning reflectors on McDermott Creek dropoff. Bob said Pat’s tax valuation did go up by $9,000 in 2015, from $160,000 to $169,000. Bob said the county had valued his home as fake (half) log siding, when in fact it is whole logs, which increased the value. Also a new cement slab patio increased the value by $570, which meant a $5 tax increase. The increase is not retroactive, so Pat was paying lower taxes than he should have for the past 5 years. Kelly said Pat and Helena’s home is not homesteaded and asked why. Pat said when he first moved here he also had a home in Washington County that was homesteaded, so he wasn’t allowed to homestead the Wilma home. Kelly said homesteading no longer cuts taxes in half, but Pat would save $282 in taxes if he homesteads, and she gave him the application forms to do it. This also can’t be made retroactive, but he will have this discount every year from now on. Gary moved that there be no change in Pat and Helena’s statement property value except for the homesteading credit. Mike seconded. Passed.
Mike McCullen: Mike said he isn’t contesting his value, but he thinks the arbitrary categories of real logs/fake logs doesn’t take into account the great difference in value of a whole log home make from redwood or cedar or oak logs versus poplar logs, although they are taxed the same. Bob said there would be too many categories if they tried to distinguish the kind of wood.
Kelly said the Board of County Commissioners are holding their meetings in various towns to give the taxpayers opportunities to voice their concerns and ask questions. The next community meeting will be the 4th Tuesday of May at the Duquette Community Center in Kerrick. They will also be holding them in Sandstone and Hinckley.
Glen moved that the Board of Appeal be continued on Wednesday, April 22 at 12 noon by conference call to vote on any appeals made at the two county Boards of Appeal. Mike seconded. Kelly will call all the Supervisors and the Clerk to set up the conference call. No adjournment.
APRIL 22, CONFERENCE CALL CONTINUATION OF MEETING: Assessor Kelly Schroeder reconvened the Board of Equalization and Review by conference call with Glen Williamson, Gary Vink and Paul Raymond.
There were no more appeals at the courthouse or by letter since our meeting. Gary asked about two Vink parcels and how the agricultural tax values went up $6,500 in value. Kelly said part of this increase is that all river-front or lakefront property went up to $30 per foot, on both sides of the river. Kelly said that one of Gary’s parcels would be reduced because there is no road access to the property. Gary said their land in Sections 5 and 8 have been clear-cut, and should get a reduction in value. Kelly said they do not consider trees in property values, whether it’s forested or clear cut, only if it’s high-ground or swamp.
Kelly reminded Paul to have the Board of Review certification form filled out at the May 6 board meeting.
Glen moved to adjourn; Gary seconded. Meeting adjourned at 12:30 p.m.
Paul Raymond, Clerk